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Record 20 Million Passengers Recorded At Cancun Airport As More Fall Routes Announced

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Passenger traffic numbers at Cancun International Airport are soaring to new records aided by new route announcements and growing travel demand. With more flights planned to Cancun for the fall and winter season, by the end of the year, travel figures are expected to grow further.

Planes lined up

Cancun International Airport is the main point of entry for the majority of the millions of tourists that have visited the Mexican Caribbean this year. Recently published statistics show that more than 20 million people have transited through Cancun’s airport between January and August. And with four months left in the year, that number is projected to climb significantly.

The reason behind the record-shattering number: more flights – especially from the critical U.S. and North American market – than ever before. There are at least 38 non-stop flights available from the United States to the popular resort destination. 

Passengers outside

Projections show that should the momentum continue, the airport is well on its way to reaching 26 million passengers by the end of the year, over a million more than its previous yearly record in 2019.  Cancun Airport saw a 13% increase in passenger numbers this year compared to the same period in 2019 when 17.7 million tourists walked through its gates.

Cancun airport shops

In light of record travel demand, Cancun International Airport has seen long lines over the summer. To help ease congestion at immigration checks, Cancun authorities added over 100 temporary staff to help visiting tourists pass formalities. The airport has also been trialing new electronic passport kiosks to help facilitate entry into the country. 

As the summer season reaches an end, tourists are already beginning to plan their fall and winter holidays. Cancun airport already has plenty of direct connections to the U.S. and Canada, but a few new routes are being launched shortly. Due to lower demand, flight prices may drop as much as 20% over the fall, according to estimates. However, with fuel prices fluctuating and inflation a real risk, this remains to be seen.

American Airlines

Canadian passengers will have a new direct flight to the city from Toronto on low-cost carrier Flair, with two weekly departures starting November 3. Meanwhile, American Airlines is adding a weekly Raleigh Cancun flight starting in early November and lasting until March 25.

cancun hotel zone from above

European travelers will be able to fly to the tropical destination twice weekly from Paris beginning October 22 on Air Caraibes. Meanwhile, international tour operator TUI is launching a flurry of new flights in November, with 8 weekly departures from the Nordic countries, and one from Poland. TUI is also expected to reveal new non-stop flights from Belgium and The Netherlands. 

Cozumel And Tulum: The Mexican Caribbean’s Other Airports

Meanwhile, the region’s other airport, Cozumel International Airport, is also reporting a strong rebound in travel arrivals. Visitors headed to the resort island will find fewer queues, as the airport is significantly smaller than its Cancun counterpart, welcoming around a million yearly tourists. But with several new U.S. routes announced this year, that number is expected to jump, with a 20% growth rate forecast.

Cozumel beach

The new Cozumel flights for this fall include:

  • Charlotte – Cozumel (American Airlines): once-per-week frequency starting October 8, with prices starting at $370 per person.
  • Philadelphia – Cozumel (American Airlines): once-per-week frequency beginning November 5, with one-way tickets on sale for $280.
  • Toronto – Cozumel (Air Canada): starting November 6 on Air Rouge; prices start at $425 one-way. 
Cancun terminal

Aside from Cozumel, Tulum, a major historical and resort destination, is set to get a new airport sometime in May 2024. The new airport is designed to handle up to four million passengers yearly and will be interlinked with the new Maya Train.  

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